Annually Black Friday has become a “holiday” that sits right after Thanksgiving and stands arguably as the official day to start shopping for gifts. Usually, large retail conglomerates win big today advertising sales on electronics, home goods, and other buzzy products however, there’s been a shift in the conversation this year on what brand’s to support on Black Friday. With a large push this past summer to shop Black, there’s been a conversation amongst creatives to support minority led and small businesses this season.
Along with the familiar deals that today brings, many independent labels are hosting their own drops and the NYC based fashion house, Tier is utilizing today to reintroduce the brand and remerge itself into another entity of fashion. “Everything that we have now is because of our hard work,” exclaimed Co-founder Nigeria Ealey.
Ealey, along with Co-founders, Esaïe Jean-Simon and Victor James launched Tier in 2014. Originally kicking off as a creative project between three chapter brothers, (they are all apart of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity) has transitioned 6 years later into a brand that’s garnered a global customer base.
Tier has been featured in publications such as ESSENCE, Elle, and Complex along with recently being awarded $50,000 from the Harlem’s Fashion Row Icon 360 fund. Ealey includes that while the founders are thankful for their recent accomplishments, they still remain grounded. “We’re not here for that,” he exclaimed. “We’re here to make our art, take care of our families, take care of our friends, and make an impact.”
Today, Tier launches its latest collection, “Project 2: Old News, Yesterday’s Paper.” The collection it self featuring printed pieces with newspaper typography and monogrammed moments that introduce a new look on their interchangeable logo. Project 2 appears to be a new lane for the label. In the past, Tier has managed to grab an eager buyer base by creating comfy and eco-friendly sweatsuits. Available in an array of colors, the brand was able to build a concrete streetwear aesthetic. Project 2 was originally showcased at their latest fashion show this past September, and reintroduced the label to the Ready-To-Wear market.
“Everything we do is 100% self funded,” says Simon. While together they have found a module that has managed to incorporate all of their ideas into shared designs, they each have their hands in diffrent verticals of the label. Simon works hands on with budgeting in which he details the ground work and self-funding Tier has done. “It took us about four in a half years to touch a dollar,” he says. From 2014 -2019, the group was investing their profit back into the brand. It wasn’t until late last year, Ealey and Simon were able to quit their jobs. James still working as a dean and juggling his full-time position at Tier. As a creative and educator in is his own right, he details what this new collection represents for the label.
“Black art means to me strength, beauty, growth, compassion, and community,” James says. “We’re making sure that we don’t overproduce and underdeliver,” he concluded.
Tier’s latest collection “Project 2: Old News, Yesterday’s Paper” is available now.